March 23,2006

Grassley Discouraged by Prospects for WTO Talks After Brazil Trip


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Grassley statement on Brazil/WTO
Da: Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over
international trade, made the following statement after leading an official delegation of senators and
congressmen to Brazil. The delegation met with government officials and agriculture, business and
industry groups and toured several agriculture facilities throughout the week. Here is Grassley’s

“Brazil is a beautiful country, and I was impressed by the warmth of its people. I appreciated the time
that Brazilian ministers and legislators took to meet with me. I also enjoyed meeting with Brazilian
farmers, agricultural exporters, manufacturers, and service providers. My visit confirmed my
impression that Brazil, while it faces economic challenges, has highly dynamic agricultural and
manufacturing sectors.

“I must admit, though, that I’m disappointed in what I heard this week. I had high hopes when we
arrived that it would become clearer that progress would be made in advancing talks at the WTO.
After all, time is not on our side. A meeting of trade ministers will be held at the WTO at the end
of April, and with the expiration of Trade Promotion Authority coming in 2007, any WTO
agreement would need to be finalized by the end of 2006. I became increasingly discouraged about
the prospects of reaching an agreement on the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization.

“There was a recurring theme during our discussions – the U.S. needs to do more. But the U.S. has
already done more than most. The U.S. put a meaningful offer on the table last October to jumpstart
the agriculture negotiations. But I’ve come to the conclusion that this offer will never be enough for
Brazil. If they really want an agreement in the WTO, they also need to bring a meaningful
agricultural offer to the table that will result in increased market access in both developed and
developing countries. Such an offer would benefit both of our countries as both the United States
and Brazil are leading agricultural exporting countries. With such an offer, we can really begin to
negotiate. Who knows, if we can just get to the table to talk, we might be able to come up with
something we can all work with.

“Brazil has really compromised their position in the Doha Round negotiations by having their feet
in both camps. They have an advanced agricultural sector, but they act like a developing country
when it’s convenient for them. In addition, outside of agriculture, Brazil’s tariffs on U.S.
manufactured products need to be lowered, and U.S. services providers would benefit significantly
from further liberalization of the Brazilian services sector. These issues could all be addressed in
the WTO negotiations. Unfortunately, I’ve heard nothing in my talks that would convince me that
we’re going to get any movement in April. I hope I’m wrong.”